over 1,200





Many of the 4th graders we serve face a relationship gap. The Harvard University National Scientific Council on the Developing Child recognized in 2015 that, “Children who end up doing well have had at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive parent, caregiver, or other adult." Although this is important for all, it’s not a reality for all. According to The Mentoring Effect, a report published by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, “Two-thirds of kids, from the lowest income and education levels, DID NOT have informal mentors while growing up."

The report goes on to say, "It is projected that 16 million young people, including 9 million at-risk young people, will reach adulthood without connecting with a mentor of any kind.” Academy 4 closes this relationship gap. Our mentors, from all backgrounds, develop relationships that matter and make a difference in the lives of 4th graders. We provide a mentor for EVERY 4th grader in the schools we serve and our mentors come mentor together, bringing joy to the school and making a positive impact on each 4th grader.

Our 2017-18 Student Survey shows the depth of our mentor connections. Students responded as follows:

The majority of 4th graders we serve are from economically disadvantaged families, and don’t have many opportunities that their middle class peers do. Academy 4 clubs help bridge this opportunity gap in fun and engaging ways. Our Spark Clubs develop passion and interest in 4th graders, exposing them to new experiences like robotics, guitar, cooking, golf, soccer, and more.

Patty Coté, Principal at Daggett Elementary, says it like this: “We label it the achievement gap, but it’s really an opportunity children who maybe could have never been to a cooking class at Young Chef’s Academy or taken golf lessons are afforded that opportunity that their peers who maybe aren’t economically disadvantaged have.” Last year, each 4th grader spent more than 13 hours learning something new in a fun way. In total, that’s more than 6,300 hours of sparking passions.

Our 2017-18 Student Survey shows how students experience things in Academy 4 that they don't get elsewhere. Students responded as follows:

This year, Academy 4 volunteers and partners recognized the unique difficulties that the pandemic brought to our partner schools. Together, we decided to not only support the social and emotional needs of teachers and students, but their physical needs as well.
Click the link below to get our full year end summary!

"What Academy 4 has brought us is a sense of I can be more."

Sharon Wynn

Principal  /  Donna Park Elementary

"I think the kids feel loved, I think our staff is highly encouraged and feels 

love from our community."

Sharon Wynn

4th Grade Teacher  /  Donna Park Elementary

Just to see the kids' reactions whenever you tell them 'I'll be here next 

month.' Their eyes light up... it's so awesome. It makes you feel good and it 

makes the kids feel good.

Eric Belmares

Academy 4 Mentor